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How To Balance Your Health and Budget at The Grocery Store

Grocery shopping can be overwhelming. I only shop for my husband and myself and it’s hard enough to balance healthy choices on a budget. Add extended family and children to your home and grocery shopping can become a downright chore! We all know that making healthy choices at the store can lead to healthy lifestyles at home, but how do you balance your family’s healthy meals and your budget?

I’m sure you’ve seen the various articles on ‘organic versus non-organic foods’, but there is a resource that I’ve found very helpful in balancing good food choices with keeping budgets in line. Commonly known as The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 this list of foods gives you a great resource to determine what fruits and veggies are “dirty” (ones that you should buy organic if possible) and what fruits and veggies are “clean” (items you can buy in non-organic form).

The items on the Dirty Dozen list, when grown conventionally, tested positive for at least 47 various chemicals with some topping out at 67 different chemicals! The Dirty Dozen includes:

  • celery
  • peaches
  • strawberries
  • apples
  • domestic blueberries
  • nectarines
  • sweet bell peppers
  • spinach, kale and collard greens
  • cherries
  • potatoes
  • imported grapes
  • lettuce

When testing the produce on the Clean 15 list, scientists found these items bore little to no pesticide traces. These fruits and veggies can be purchased in non-organic form:

  • onions
  • avocados
  • sweet corn
  • pineapples
  • mango
  • sweet peas
  • asparagus
  • kiwi fruit
  • cabbage
  • eggplant
  • cantaloupe
  • watermelon
  • grapefruit
  • sweet potatoes
  • sweet onions

Scientists believe that, in situations like the above, fruits and veggies with a protective exterior (cantaloupe, avocados, etc.) allow for fewer pesticides to enter the edible portion of the item – foods like cherries and grapes lack this protection.

So, next time you’re looking at your grocery list and devising a list of chores or errands to avoid the inevitable, take this Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list with you to make smart, healthy and economical choices for you and your family. Your bodies, minds and wallets will thank you!

Tell me, how do you make smart grocery choices while staying on budget?

Guest post, Lindsay Langteau - The Karis Group

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